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The Financial Express

Fostering organisational citizenship behaviour in workplace

Shanjida Hossain | Published: February 13, 2020 00:56:57 | Updated: February 14, 2020 11:12:23


Fostering organisational citizenship behaviour in workplace

Human beings are considered the most complex creatures of this planet. Management science has made numerous attempts at uncovering the unknown aspects of human beings. The rapid progression of technological changes as well as the scarcity of apt human resources has imposed severe challenges on organisations. Competition from rival companies is so high that it takes a huge amount of effort to retain talent.

At such an aggressive era of business, keeping hold of brilliant employees has become a more strenuous task than building organisational citizenship behaviour (OCB). Nevertheless, firms should start realising that encouraging OCB is as equally important as the former because not only does it foster loyalty but also generates additional revenues for a company.

Now, the question is: What exactly is organisational citizenship behaviour? An organisational citizen is a person who exhibits discretionary behaviour beyond his or her roles, duties and official job description. An organisational citizen does not seek for additional income from such work, however, conducts such practices from his or her motivation that stems from job devotion and believes that doing extra work voluntarily will help progress the organisation. This kind of attitude is invaluable to a company since making an employee connect with the organisation's core values at such a deeper level is exceedingly laborious.

This article focuses on the four major ways an organisation can promote and foster OCB.

Increasing job satisfaction and organisational commitment

Job satisfaction is defined as the extent to which one feels self-motivated and content with one's job. This results from various factors, for instance, a positive organisational culture, absence of intense workplace politics, supportive leaders and substantial incentives. Instilling these aspects and practices into a company and the hearts and minds of employees is difficult since these are abstract concepts and there is no concrete way that can be used to promote these in the workplace.

"On one side of the equation, there are the elements of work that, if not done right, will cause us to be dissatisfied. These are called hygiene factors. Hygiene factors are things like status, compensation, job security, work conditions, company policies, and supervisory practices," stated Clayton Magleby Christensen, who served as the Kim B Clark Professor of Business Administration at the Harvard Business School.

Job dissatisfaction is, in fact, negatively correlated to organisational commitment that inherently stems from loyalty.

Increasing supportive behaviour of leaders

The most important component for leaders to push towards happier teams is emotional intelligence. Emotional intelligence consists of self-awareness, self-regulation, motivation, empathy and social skills, according to Daniel Goleman who was an American psychologist. Supportive leadership focuses on building effective relationships to enhance employee loyalty and well-being for improving work performance in the organisation.

Sourodip Paul, former global graduate, legal  and external affairs at British American Tobacco Bangladesh (BATB) said, "Leaders have a huge role to play in promoting organisational citizenship behaviour. The two main things they should do are: set examples by enacting the ideal behaviour themselves and be more empathetic towards the specific needs of the employees working under them."

Reinforcing contribution from the HR department

 HR has a major contribution in designing and implementing policies and strategies for increasing employee loyalty, motivation, performance and hence OCB.

Shadab Shahriar, currently employed at a multinational banking and financial services company, stated, "HR should deal with employees as stakeholders and just like suppliers, retailers, and consumers, it is crucial to improve the relationship between the employees and organisation. It can do this in three ways: branding employees, creating a toxic-free organisational culture and motivating employees on a continuous basis."

Fostering a great organisational culture

No one wants to work in a company where there is intense politics, back-biting, and unsupportive colleagues. It makes the employees feel inferior and constantly keeps them on their toes. This might sound excellent in terms of sustaining competition; however, everyone wants to be part of a community where there is room for error, repentance and comfort.

In Bangladeshi organisations, there seems to be a lack of work-life balance and job contentment. Most companies fail to understand that humans are not machines that can be used or replaced in whatever way they want. Even machines depreciate and wear off over time.

It is high time to treat employees in Bangladesh more fairly and humanely.

The writer is a third year student of BBA programme at the Institute of Business Administration (IBA), University of Dhaka. She can be reached at shanjida7f@gmail.com

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